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PPC 11 min read April 27, 2018

How To Сreate Profitable Google Shopping Campaigns: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Сreate Profitable Google Shopping Campaigns: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alexey Chichirko
Co-founder of UAWC Agency. Helps to turn traffic from Facebook and Google into repeatable customers, not only on local markets but internationally.
99% of all advertisers are not optimizing their Shopping campaigns. I realized this after providing audits for more than 200 accounts. The main reason is – Shopping campaigns seem to be much more complicated than search campaigns.
For many years, I kept asking myself the following question: "How to optimize Google Shopping in an easy way?". Reframing this question based on the Pareto principle makes it clearer: "What 20% of tasks really influence sales?".

This led to many discoveries, which I will share in this article.
The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Google Shopping vs. Text Ads

First of all, let's define the main differences between Google Shopping and Google Search campaigns.
1
In Shopping campaigns, you don't target keywords. Google will automatically choose keywords based on the product info you provided. As a result, there are no match types.
2
All your product data is stored in your Google Merchant account. It's a file containing your product data titles, images, descriptions, landing pages, etc.
3
Google Shopping Ads are not just text ads, you are showing users a photo of your product, the price, etc. All thisdata is uploaded dynamically from the product feed.
As I've mentioned Google Merchant account, let me tell you how to set it up in case you've never run Google Shopping ads before. Skip this part if you've already done it.

Before you could set up Google Shopping campaigns in AdWords, you need to sign up for Google Merchant account. This includes three steps:
1
Provide basic information about your business and claim your website.
2
Create a feed and submit your product data. Read the product specification carefully and make sure that your product data meets Google requirements.
Step #1

Start with things that require less work but provide better results

1
Conversion tracking
Make sure that you are tracking your conversions the correct way. I would recommend using ROAS + purchase volume as the two main KPIs.
2
Negative keywords
  • Make sure that negatives from your search campaigns are applied to Google Shopping campaigns.
  • Analyze your Google Shopping search report and add new negatives.
  • Add universal negatives.
3
Remarketing
  • Add "all users" in audience tab with minimum bid adjustments of 300% to retarget your previous website visitors with Google Shopping campaigns.
  • Import other audiences from Google Analytics. Usually, you will get more value from those people who started purchase process but didn't complete it. The most popular audiences are cart abandoners and those users which have visited more than 4 pages.
Step #2

Optimize your product feed

1
Make sure that you are targeting all your product inventory
Checking your product tab, you might realize that only 1-10% of your products are getting clicks.
  • Regularly fetch your feed to ensure that prices and all other info match the info on your website
  • There are several required attributes, which you need to submit to Google to be eligible for Google Shopping campaigns. First of all, this is the most important product data such as id, title (max 150 characters), description (max 5000 characters), link, image link, availability, price, etc.
2
Optimize your titles
Based on my experience, the title is one of the most important factors. Google pays attention to it when choosing if your product is eligible to be displayed. Mobile ads only show 40 characters, so make the most of them.

  1. Don't put the brand name at the beginning of title unless it's popular on the market.
  2. Instead of the name, add details about the characteristics of the goods like "Round glasses for reading."
3. Individualize the feed. Ensure that titles are not the same for different products:

  • Specify the form of your glasses: 'round, 'oval', etc;
  • Specify the material;
  • Specify the color.

4. Add target keywords if they are relevant. I start with keywords that bring sales in organic and paid search campaigns.

5. Don't use Excessive Capitalization.

Let's me share a case of how important is to use correct title. One of my clients had titles such as 'Geneva - correction glasses'. We launched a campaign that resulted in few impressions during the first week and here's why:

  • Nobody was familiar with his models, so adding "Geneva" is useless at the beginning of the title.
  • He also didn't share any valuable info about his glasses.
  • Titles were identical for all 20 products. The only thing to change was the name of the brand.

We analyzed this campaign and decided to optimize the titles. Here's what we did:

  • So, we shifted it to the end of the title.
  • We've added relevant information about the material, form, etc.
The new title we created was 'Round eyeglasses Geneva. Grey metal. Female/Male'. On the graph below you can see the results we got:
'Geneva - correction glasses' generated 1426 impressions, while 'Round eyeglasses Geneva. Grey metal. Female/Male' generated 4535 impressions. Provide useful information about your products and Google will reward you ;)
3
Optimize descriptions
  • Ensure that you don't duplicate the descriptions from one product to another;
  • Use correct punctuation and grammar;
  • Keep it between 500 and 1000 characters.
4
Make sure to use high-quality images
  • Provide multiple images from different angles;
  • Use the highest resolution available, so it will look great both on desktop and mobile;
  • Make sure that images match titles and product description (color, form, etc.);
  • Test different image types. In addition to the main pictures on white background, experiment with different lifestyle images. Make sure you've included both size and quantity data in your feed.
  • Check auction insights report to check product images on competitor's websites. Very often 90% of advertisers provide only 1-2 product photos.
5
Provide GTIN information, if you can
The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is an internationally recognized identifier for a product. Google is rewarding advertisers who provide GTINs with better positions in Google Shopping results.
Step #3

Structure your Shopping campaigns based on results

Create a separate campaign for best sellers not to lose traffic due to bid and budget restrictions. If you don't have any conversions from Shopping yet, you can filter the top 10-50 products via the conversion rate from your Google Analytics account.
I would recommend creating a separate campaign for bestselling products, following these steps:
1
Add custom labels to the products in your product feed within Google Merchant.
2
Create a new campaign, subdividing products by label.
3
Set the campaign priority to high.
4
Exclude everything else, to ensure that only your best sellers will be displayed in this campaign.
In a second campaign, you will have all other products structured by an attribute that is more relevant to your business. This attribute should be unique for each product so that you can set bids on a product level. This could be the item ID.

Also, whenever you run special deals, for example on Black Friday, you can create another campaign with high priority specifically for the specials.
Step #4

Experiment with your bidding strategy

Unfortunately, Target CPA is not available for Google Shopping, so there are not many options to choose from:
1
Automated bidding strategies such as Target ROAS and Maximize clicks. I would recommend testing "Target ROAS" only when you have sufficient conversion data: at least 50 sales per month.
2
Manual bidding.
Step #5

Test advanced strategies

There are only several options here, which is not much compared to AdWords Search:
1
Create Showcase Shopping ads to increase the conversion rate from more general keywords. Google will show several products at once, so the customer can choose those that appeal the most;
2
Test Google Shopping Ads on YouTube. You can insert special shopping cards that contain info about your product.
3
Seller ratings on Google Shopping. Enrich your ads with reviews to increase trust, CTR, and conversion rate. This will enrich your ads with stars.
4
Set up promotions.

Summary

As a summary, I want to share a list of Google Shopping questions – sort of a checklist. This is one of my favorite PPC routines. I go through this list regularly to ensure that I am meeting my account goals:
1
Am I tracking conversions in the correct way?
2
Are the campaigns profitable? Am I filtering by CPC? Am I overpaying for certain product groups and search terms?
3
Should I experiment with different bidding strategies such as Target ROAS or should I keep changing bids manually?
4
Should I add more negative keywords?
5
Are there any problems with my product feed? Do I fetch data regularly to provide the most accurate data?
6
Are there any products that are not getting clicks and impressions? Can I experiment with new titles and descriptions?
7
Am I using high-quality product images that show different angles?
8
Did I add remarketing audiences?
9
Should I create a separate campaign to reallocate the majority of the budget to my best sellers?
10
Who are my competitors on Google Shopping? Did I check the Auction insights report?
11
Can I test advanced features such as Promotions, Trueview, and Showcase Shopping ads?
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